Lavender Lake: Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal | 1997
South Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal, opened in 1866, was once hailed as "one of the shortest and most important waterways in the world." It was also known as the dirtiest and was dubbed "Lavender Lake." Almost immediately after it opened, local residents called for it to be flushed out or filled in. One Hundred and thirty years of raw sewage, toxic sludge, drowned dogs, and dumped corpses later, the community continues to fight to clean up the Gowanus.